May update: Update from Luangwa

With a great performance from our newest district!

In the last month we’ve expanded into 6 new clinics in Luangwa district. The clinics at Luangwa Borna, Mandombe, Luangwa High School, Chicopee, Kasinsa and Sinyawagora have two nurses and a certified midwife as well as the Clinical Officers using the app. In only a month this new district has referred almost a case a day.

It’s great to see the service going from strength to strength.





Our Country lead Dr. Phallon Mwaba (far left) with our Luangwa Clinical Officers

Walk for the Virtual Doctors!

Our very own Executive Business Assistant Lina Woehrling has teamed up with a friend to walk the quarter option for Action Challenge’s London2Brighton to raise funds and awareness for the Virtual Doctors’ cause. That’s 31km on the 27th May, so less than a month to train and a first deadline on the 12th May of having raised 50% of the fundraising target (based on the cost of equipping a Clinical Officer for a whole year). Help spur her on by visiting and sharing Justgiving page — we thank you in advance for your generosity!

If this is giving you itchy feet, there is an exciting opportunity to support the Virtual Doctors throughout 2017: we have signed up as a listed charity for the whole Ultra Challenge series, which covers coastal, urban and country routes: Walk, or Jog, or Run - 100km, 50km, or 25km - Individuals & Teams - Fantastic Routes, Full Support.

We have 5 inspirational endurance events for you to take part in:

(Isle of Wight Challenge —  April — has already passed)

London2Brighton Challenge - 27/28 May

Cotswold Way Challenge - 1/2 July

South Coast Challenge - 26/27 August

Thames Path Challenge - 9/10 September

Thames Bridges Trek - 9 September

Contact Lina to find out more. Go on, May is national walking month!

A case from the field

We recently had a case where a 9-year-old boy was brought to a rural health centre having been bitten in the leg by a snake, most likely a puff-adder. The cytotoxic venom caused necrosis and made the wound spread all over the calf (photo withheld!). The Clinical Officer (CO) sent a patient file to the Virtual Doctors for advice. Large wounds like this one have a high risk of complications such as abscess formation or bone infection. These can result in the necessary amputation of the limb or lead to an overwhelming infection (sepsis) and death. The Virtual Doctors service provided a quick response and after taking guidance from Max, our Paediatric surgeon, the CO was able to treat the injury appropriately. The patient made a full recovery, avoiding a journey to the hospital, difficult because of his injury, and the CO can now manage and deal with similar cases in the future.

Check our website for Minnie’s blog from the field for more cases like this.

Volunteer Spotlight: our dev team

As promised, we are turning the spotlight this month on the team at Landmark Information Group, who have been long term and loyal supporters. While the original development team was much larger, the core members are now Jon Ody, Nick Ward and Lavan Naillanathan (below). Jon commented on his Virtual Doctors experience:

"Volunteering for the Virtual Doctors has been a very rewarding experience for us all. It has given us the opportunity to put our technical experience to use for a great cause. Developing a telemedicine solution to be used in the field in Zambia has been both exciting and challenging. The limited internet access faced by the Clinical Officers on a daily basis highlights how lucky we are and how we can take having access to the internet for granted. This limitation alone forced us to think in new ways when developing the telemedicine solution. Working with the Virtual Doctors team has been a lot of fun. All the people we have had contact with have been supportive and very committed to the Charity. We all hope Virtual Doctors continues to be a great success and continues making a positive impact to Zambia’s rural communities."

We say a huge thanks to them for their continued support; developing, updating and tweaking the app seems to be a never-ending task and they approach it with great skill and enthusiasm.

We really couldn’t do this without them.

Landmark Information Group.jpg

New additions to our team

We are still looking for volunteers who can make an on-going commitment to help with Social Media and all-round communications — contact Lina if interested.

And finally

Friends with an MP or a peer? Ahead of ParliamentWeek (13-19 November) we are looking for parliamentarians interested in becoming advocates for the Virtual Doctors. Please contact Lina if interested.

Huw JonesComment